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Questions To Ask Before Getting A Family Dog

6 Questions To Ask Before Getting A Family Dog

by Deborah Cruz

Dogs are awesome. We are dog people. To be fair, we love cats and guinea pigs and mostly all animals but dogs are our favorite. They can be excellent additions to any family. Saffaron, Lola and Stella are the best things that have happened to us. These furry friends stick by your side for their entire lives, giving you all the attention you need, through thick and thin, dogs just love you unconditionally. Honestly, humans don’t deserve dogs at all. They’re far too good for us; offering up all of their love without wanting anything but a few belly rubs and treats in return. 

Having a dog to yourself is one thing – it’s completely different if you want to get one for a family. When you have kids to think about as well, you can’t make a snap decision to just get a dog. A few key questions need to be asked and answered to help you figure out if this is the right move for you and your family. 

Do you have room for a dog?

Firstly, is there enough room in your house for a dog? You might have a relatively small home with a small backyard. It’s absolutely perfect for you and your family right now. There’s enough space for everyone, and the yard is just big enough for the kids to enjoy. 

Unfortunately, if you add a dog into the picture, the house seems a lot smaller. There’s no space for the dog to roam around during the day – particularly if it’s a fairly big one. You can’t really find anywhere to keep a dog bed and there’s certainly not enough room outside for your pooch to have a little house. 

Consequently, some families might be unable to handle a dog because there’s not enough room in the home. This does depend on the type of dog you’re thinking about getting – smaller ones don’t need that much room. However, we will talk more about dog breeds later on! 

Are you able to look after the dog?

How busy is your daily schedule? Are you packed to the brim with things to do every single day? If you already struggle to find time for yourself – which a lot of parents do struggle to do – then a dog may complicate things. Suddenly, you have another responsibility on your hands. 

Can you walk the dog regularly? Can you keep them groomed? Can you ensure they’re given all the attention they deserve? Can you afford to keep them fed, loved, and rewarded with treats when they need them? These things may not always be cheap or convenient to provide but you need to consider them. For example, you might think treats are not a necessity but Treatibles are great for training, and behavioral adjustments, some are good for joint pain, tummy issues and relieving anxiety.

Yes, you can argue that your kids should give them lots of attention. In reality, they are the ones that probably asked you to get a dog anyway! But, what if they are too young to walk the dog by themselves? They’re too little to give the dog a bath or even to feed it. So, all the responsibility falls on your shoulders. 

Okay, what if your kids are old enough to help you look after the dog. In this scenario, you still have to give them loads of attention when the kids are at school. There are many hours in the day when a dog will be left without your children to take care of it. Can you find the time in these hours to give them attention? If you work a full-time job, the answer will be a resounding no. 

Please, please, please take this into consideration before getting a dog for your family. As you can imagine, time is the number one reason people surrender dogs. Owners simply can’t find the time to give a dog the attention and care it deserves. Don’t be one of those people that gets a dog and has to give it up. It’s not nice for the dog to be taken to a new home, only to end up being abandoned at an animal shelter. 

If you want a family pet, but don’t have the time to devote many hours a day to that pet, think about getting a cat. They’re super low-maintenance and can be left for hours on end with no issues. As long as there’s water, food, and a cat flap, the cat is fine by themselves.

Why do you want a family dog?

Ask yourself, why do you want a family dog? It might seem like a strange question, but consider what has pushed you to think about bringing a furry friend to your family. Is this a decision you and your partner have been thinking about for a long time? Perhaps you had dogs before when you were growing up, and you’d love to have one for your new family to enjoy. That’s a perfectly viable reason to get a dog; you want a new addition to the family!

But, what if you’re getting one because your kids have pestered you about it. They’ve been saying they want a dog, so you’re finally thinking about caving in. If this isn’t something you and your partner are too keen on, don’t give in. 

It’s never a good idea to get anything because your kids really want it. Kids are kids, meaning they like different things all the time. They may love the idea of a dog right now, but will they still be as interested in a few weeks or months?

A dog is a long-term investment for you and your kids. Be sure that this isn’t just a phase before you decide to get one. 

Can you afford a dog?

After answering the previous questions, you’ve reached a pivotal point in the dog acquiring process. Can you actually afford the financial commitment that comes with owning a dog?

The initial costs will vary depending on how you get your dog. If you adopt, it’s completely free. If you purchase a dog from a breeder, prices depend on the specific breed of dog as well as the caliber of the breeder. 

However, these aren’t the main costs you should be worried about. Instead, you need to question if you can afford the ongoing costs of dog ownership. So, how much is this going to cost? Well, you should start by considering everything you need to buy: 

There’s a lot you need to think about, and the costs can add up to anywhere between $1,500 to $9,900 per year. That’s a lot of money that you might not be able to afford. Of course, it all depends on your financial situation. Some of you may do the calculations and figure out that you can definitely afford an extra mouth to feed. If that’s the case, you’re one step closer to owning a dog. 

If you can’t afford a dog, think about how you can save money to possibly get one in the future!

What dog breeds are good for kids/families?

You can financially afford a dog, but you’re still not ready to go out there and pick one up. Some dogs are better suited to families and young children than others. For the sake of your kid’s safety, you need to consider breeds that are suitable. Here are some of the options you should think about: 

Labrador retrievers

Labs are always popular family dogs because they have the perfect temperament for kids. They’re very patient, playful and full of love. As you can see on https://chocolatelabradorretriever.ca/lab-retriever-michigan/, you can get labrador retrievers in a range of colors, with chocolate labs being very popular these days. They do grow to be quite big, but they always retain a sense of playfulness that makes them perfect family companions. 

Boxers

Boxers are great medium-sized dogs, so they’re great to have around kids. There’s never any worry about the dogs knocking over young children, and they have a very fun-loving, bright and active demeanor that makes them ideal for a family setting. While originally a working dog, these dogs are constantly eager to play games and have fun outside. They’re a great option if you want a pet to occupy your kids for hours on end. 

Boston terriers

A small dog breed that works really well with families and children is Boston terriers. The great thing about Boston terriers is that they are pretty low-maintenance. They don’t need to be walked that much, and they’re more than happy to stay inside for hours a day. Make no mistake about it, this doesn’t mean they’re lazy creatures. They are still keen to play with your kids, they’re just easier to look after than many other dogs. 

Should you adopt or buy a dog?

The final question is whether or not you should buy a dog. It is a good idea to adopt whenever possible. However, if you are looking for a specific breed of dog – or you want a puppy from birth to raise in your family, buying from a breeder might be the better option.  After asking yourself all of these crucial questions, you will know if a family dog is the right choice or not. Furthermore, you should also know what breed of dog is the best, and whether or not you should adopt it. It is so important to think this decision through as carefully as you can. Don’t rush into things as it could mean you get a dog that ends of being put up for adoption very soon.

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